Search Beyond Journal Articles

While scholarly journals articles will make up the majority of the sources used in your literature review, there are other sources you may need to include.

This section focuses on some of the most important sources other than journal articles:

  • Dissertations
  • Measurement Instruments
  • Books


Dissertations contain a wealth of useful information for anyone working on a literature review. The literature review chapter of any dissertation will make an attempt to cover all of the relevant literature on the topic. You can look at that literature review and the dissertation's references to discover sources you may not know about. Seminal literature is often difficult to find, unless you look at dissertations.

Click the tutorial on the right for more information on how to find and use dissertations in your research.

Measurement Instruments

Finding a test or measurement instrument can sometimes be difficult and time consuming. The Capella Library has some resources to help you with this search:

  • Tests in Print (with MMY)
  • Mental Measurements Yearbook
  • Health and Psychosocial Instruments

The test and measurement databases listed above have test reviews, which include historical information related to reliability and validity, and contact information for the test's publisher. Not all tests are published, so the contact information may be for the test's creator.

You can also identify tests by looking at articles and dissertations in your field. Many will use an established test, and you may see that some tests are very popular in your field. You can then try to find the actual test.

How do you find a copy of a test or measurement instrument?

  • Look in the appendix of a dissertation that uses the instrument. Search the Dissertations & Theses Full Text database to find a dissertation using the instrument.
  • Search the web for the test or the test publisher. You may be able to see a preview or sample copy.

Before you use a test or measurement instrument in a research study, make sure you have permission from the publisher or creator. They may require payment for use of the test.

For more information about finding a test or measurement instrument, see our guide: Finding Tests & Survey Instruments.


Books are a great source of background information for your papers, research and coursework. They can offer a different perspective than articles because they tend to provide a deeper overview or framework for the topic.

In some fields seminal works are more likely to be in book form. If that is true for your topic, you may have to look for books in print collections.

Books are also are good resources to help you find out more about research the research and writing processes themselves.


The Capella Library has several databases that contain electronic books or Ebooks:

  • Ebrary
  • Netlibrary
  • PsycBOOKS (psychology books only)

Print Books

You can identify print books using any of the methods below:

  • Bibliography mining
  • Search a physical library's catalog. Many universities allow anyone to search the book catalog online.
  • Search This is a database of over 1 billion items from thousands of library catalogs.
  • Search web resources such as Google Books or online booksellers (they often provide the table of contents and the introduction online)

Once you have identified a print book you want to read, you have several options for getting access to them:

  • Request a book chapter through Interlibrary Loan
  • Request and entire book through Interlibrary Loan
  • Find the book at a local library (use

Click here to view the Library's Guide "How do I Find Books and EBooks?"

Finding and Using Dissertations in Research. Learn how to find dissertations by topic, school and mentor and how they can assist you in finding additional resources for your Literature Review. Finding Tests and Survey Instruments. Describes resources to find tests and measures you may want to utilize in your research. How do I find Books and EBooks? Learn how to find both print and electronic books (Ebooks) to use in your research.